Historical Slang Terms That Deserve a Place in Modern Vernacular

These 17th and 18th-century words are too fun to be forgotten.

Certain+historical+slang+terms+may+not+be+as+outdated+as+they+seem+and+should+be+incorporated+into+our+vocabulary+today.+%28Via+Picryl%29

Certain historical slang terms may not be as outdated as they seem and should be incorporated into our vocabulary today. (Via Picryl)

By Izzy Salas, Staff Writer

Here’s the thing: people said things better in the past. Farting crackers? There is literally no better way to refer to pants. Allow me to narrate for you a scene of a typical Saturday night in this wonderful city: 

Everyone was drunk. Girls were wearing skirts instead of pants in February, which was surprising. But the dependable Josie’s Pub was a good end to the night.

Now try this:

Everyone was a bit rammaged and mab. The girls were wearing skirts instead of farting crackers in February. ‘Twas a true gapeseed! But the good ol’ Josie’s guinea-gold, ‘tis was the perfect place to enjoy a chirping-merry end to the night.

Wasn’t that so much more fun? The following are a few more wonderful words that should absolutely be reinstated in modern slang. 

Phrase: Brown study
Definition: Deep in thought
Example: “She was in brown study on the subway home last night.”

Phrase: Gapeseed
Definition: An astonishing sight
Example: “When I tried to register for classes, they were all full. What a gapeseed.”

Phrase: Barnacles
Definition: Glasses
Example: “His barnacles are from that second-hand shop. I don’t think they’re real Gucci.”

Phrase: Bawcock
Definition: A fine fellow
Example: “That Andy Hamilton is a bawcock!” 

Phrase: Eve’s custom house
Definition: Female genitalia
Example: “He didn’t know his way around Eve’s custom house.”  

Phrase: Hobbledygee
Definition: Somewhere between running and walking
Example: “The Uber pulled up on the other side of the street so I had to hobbledygee to get to it before the driver called me.”

Phrase: Milk the pigeon
Definition: Try to do the impossible
Example: “I’m milking the pigeon: writing my final paper less than two hours before it’s due.”

Phrase: Condiddle
Definition: To steal
Example: “She condiddled the fruit from outside Downstein, I swear.”

Phrase: Gallied
Definition: Over-tired
Example: “He’s gallied at Bobst right now — he had an 8 a.m. class and he lives in Gram.”

Phrase: Mopus
Definition: A stupid, dull person
Example: “According to Andy Hamilton, everyone that goes to Columbia is a mopus.”

Phrase: Pump ship
Definition: To urinate
Example: “Pump ship before we leave the house because every New York bathroom is disgusting.”

Phrase: Ebb-water
Definition: Lack of money
Example: “I’ve been hanging around Downstein for the past couple days begging first-years to swipe me in. I’m in a real ebb-water situation.”

Phrase: Heathen philosopher
Definition: A man whose pants are so ragged you can see the underwear through them
Example: “He’s a heathen philosopher, but I think it’s for style purposes.”

Phrase: Thorough-cough
Definition: Farting and coughing at the same time
Example: “She thorough-coughed in the middle of class.”

Phrase: Arse upward
Definition: In good luck
Example: “My roommate got me a coffee before my midterm arse upward.”

Email Izzy Salas at [email protected]